Single from the album Mer de Noms
Single Release Date: February 13, 2001
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Peak Position: 12
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Peak Position: 12
How does one begin to succinctly describe A Perfect Circle, Tool’s Maynard James Keenan’s little sideband that could? The band even defies simple genre labeling, as the all-too-generic “alternative rock” does them no justice whatsoever. Art rock is certainly a step up, but still, maybe they evade pithy categorization. As with every song on this list, “3 Libras” represents my carefully selected favorite song of the artist in question.
Like many of the songs in my Top 12, “3 Libras” definitely packs an emotional punch as a song that gets to me after every listen. Right off the bat, the melancholic violin and acoustic guitar set the tone before Keenan yearns about unrequited attention or love. Every word that Keenan croons is powerful, hitting home with any listener as a fundamental albeit awful raw emotion. The song slowly crescendos, but even early on, lines like “Difficult not to feel a little bit / Disappointed and passed over” resonate deeply. However, it is that last minute or so that could make even the coldest-hearted person misty-eyed. He laments that “apparently nothing” occurs “behind the eyes of a fallen angel” before the truly cathartic ending of “You don’t / You don’t / You don’t / See me!” repeats until the end. The song is truly a thing of beauty and highly relatable to anyone who has gone unnoticed to someone else. With all of that said, I would absolutely kill to see this song live.